Complaints of land grabs on the rise - Weeratunga

By Norman Palihawadana

There had been an increase in the number of complaints pertaining to persons pretending to have political backing and illegally grabbing other people’s properties, President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga disclosed yesterday.

He said that following an appeal made by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for the public to reveal instances of illegal land grabbing, the police had received a great deal of information. Things had deteriorated to such an extent that there were people even using his (Weeratunga’s) name to get illegal things done.

"A few days ago a person impersonating me phoned a senior police officer in Kegalle requesting police protection for his son", Weeratunga said

The same person, he said had earlier cheated a person out of Rs.19,000 in the Kandy area using his name.

Similarly, a woman using his name had cheated a person of Rs 500,000 in the Mirihana area on the promise of sending him abroad. The incident came to light when the victim phoned the President’s Secretary and said, "Sir I paid the money, but I have still not got the job abroad", Weeratunga said.

In another incident a coordinating officer at the Presidential Secretariat obtained police security for his vehicle by claiming that the President’s Secretary was travelling in it. He was later removed.

Weeratunga, too, appealed to the public not to fall prey to criminal elements who impersonated him.

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